The Jig Is Up: I’m Not Asian.
You may have noticed this from my coarse Jewish hair, blue eyes, and the fact that I’m not Asian.
Neither is my clinic. To model my office as a faux-asian zen “spa” seems a tad inauthentic: to cram my space with Buddhist trinkets, Ganesha statues and bamboo, I believe is not only insulting to “real” Asians, but is as completely bizarre as me wearing a silken kimono to the supermarket. I was indoctrinated into this tradition of medicine by an amazing mentor, who thankfully never once said to me, “I better see some cherry blossoms and koi fish in your office someday.” And I think my patients are a little more sophisticated than to expect that only a Chinese person can be a qualified practitioner of Chinese Medicine. I’m also not an M.D. and have no interest in pretending to be.
It seems much easier to me to fill my space with things I love rather than buying professional legitimacy through false iconography. I love birds and vintage medical equipment. I like paint-by-numbers and photographs that tell stories. All my good friends know that I love the smell of old books and holding them makes me cry. I want to showcase the tremendous talents of some of the great artists who have donated pieces to my “gallery” and I much prefer the sound of a great melancholy band to the tinkle of a mechanical fountain that just makes me have to pee. I think most of us feel better when we’re cozied up in our living rooms than in a cold medical office and I want that for my patients when they come here.
To that end, I have created this office for my patients, to relax in, to let go of their day, and to be transported into another world where they might be nourished not just by alternative healthcare, but an alternative environment to receive that care.